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kung fu tea


The term 'kung fu' is more than just a form of martial arts, it refers to any mastery of skill achieved through hard work and practice. In order to translate that notion into space, we began by honing in on the architecture that would foremost affect daily operations. Working closely with the clients, we developed a plan that focuses on the two primary components of serving tea: the perspective of the customer and the ritualization of the day to day. Whereas efficiency is the main driver of the back-of-house operations, the corporeal experience of the public space is far more complex. We sought out a balance, a balance between heaviness and lightness. The clients wanted a clean, modern design rooted in its place, which we achieved by marrying the rough and worn industrial elements of Portland's past with the clean lines of the new economy. This dichotomy led us to create a playful interior that is heavy on texture and yet subdued in its color palette, focused on tactile finishes and the differentiation of planes. 

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